A preview of how your Tim Hortons visit will change in Stage 3
OTTAWA -- You can now sit inside many Tim Hortons shops in Ottawa, as the city enters Stage 3 of Ontario's reopening plan.
Dining rooms are allowed to reopen in Stage 3, with physical distancing measures in place. Previously, Tim Hortons restaurants were limited to drive-thru only, or had taped off all of their chairs and tables for customers entering the store.
Chris McCluskey, who owns and operates a Tim Hortons franchise in Kanata, tells CTV Morning Live his store reopened for dine-in services Monday morning.
"The first thing you'll notice, once you come in, is that what was once 50 tables is now down to 18 to promote social distancing," he said. "You'll notice that our line has been rejigged through the lobby to enable our guests coming in to be separated from the diners, and you'll notice we have a team member wiping down all the tables and chairs every time a customer leaves to make sure they're pristine for the next guest."
Self-serve kiosks are still offline. The front cash register has an acrylic shield between customers and staff. Hand sanitizer is available at the register and pickup areas and all staff members are wearing masks. There are also physical distancing markers on the floor.
In McCluskey's shop, the markers say "please stand here" but some Tim Hortons shops go a bit further, asking customers to stand "46 Timbits apart".
Masks are required for customers to enter the store because of an Ottawa bylaw, but customers are allowed to remove their masks once they are seated so that they can eat and drink.
McCluskey said his team is "cautiously optimistic" about the reopening.
"We've been open for counter service for some time, so we got our procedures really dialed in. We have enhanced cleaning measures, every 10 minutes, every 30 minutes, every two hours, and once a day. Although it is a little bit different with having people in the restaurant now, we're really confident that we can handle it well."